Friday, August 12, 2011

Fun with Numbers: The Conservatives

Last month, I looked at ridings where the Liberals exceeded expectations. Today, a look at ridings where the Tories did better than we would have thought given what was going on around them. If you're confused about what the numbers in brackets mean, check out my first post on this topic. I'm not saying it will end your confusion, but it may.

1. Cumberland Colchester (+33 percentage points above expected): Bill Casey wiped the floor clean of everyone in 2008 as an independent. And since this exercise uses 2008 as the baseline, it's only natural this riding would rise to the top. Let's consider it an aberation and move on.

2. Labrador (+20): Canada's new minister of intergovernmental affairs likely pulled off the most remarkable victory in the country on May 2nd. In 2008, Todd Russell won the riding for the Liberals with 70% - the CPC were a distant third at 8%. And yet, on election night, Peter Penashue emerged triumphant. Even when we factor in the Tory jump in Newfoundland, this riding stands out as one of the most astounding election night results.

3. Nunavut (+14): Seat projections and strategic voting sites had this riding as a 3-way the end, Leona Aglukkaq increased her 2008 level of support by 15 points.

4. Vaughan (+13): This one isn't a surprise given the by election. I'd argue Lamoureux's hold was more impressive, but Fantino still built upon his by election success, earning 56% of the vote.

5. Montmagny-L'islet-yada yada (+11): This was a rare seat in Quebec where the Conservative vote actually increased from 2008 but, once again, the results are somewhat deceiving since the Tories picked it up in a 2009 by election. Clearly by election results will need to be factored in if this methodology is ever refined.

6. Megantic-L'Erable (+8): Christian Paradis not only survived, but increased his vote from 2008.

7. Mount Royal (+8): It's no secret the Tories were targeting the Jewish population in Mount Royal, and they appear to have had some success at it. Of note, Mount Royal was number 12 on this same list in 2008, so this wasn't a one-time fluke - they're making sustained inroads.

8. Roberval-Lac Saint Jean (+8): Like Paradis, Denis Lebel managed to keep his head above the orange wave.

9. Timmins-James Bay (+8): Although the riding stayed orange, Conservative support jumped 14 points there.

10. Esquimalt Juan De Fuca (+7): Not surprising given the retirement of Keith Martin.

Other Notables: Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, Sydney-Victoria, Miramichi, Mississauga-Brampton South, Egmont, York Centre, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Saint John, Richmond

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